A hot start set Ohio State women’s basketball on the right course, as it led the entire game en route to a second-round victory in the Big Ten Tournament Thursday night.
The Buckeyes (19-11, 12-7 Big Ten) opened Big Ten Tournament play with a 77-56 victory over Minnesota (16-15, 6-14) to advance to the quarterfinals where they meet No. 3-seed Iowa.
Ohio State opened the game on a 23-6 run that spanned nine minutes in the wire-to-wire victory.
Balance was the name of the game for the Buckeye offense, as it had five players score nine or more points.
The Buckeyes were led by sophomore forward Aaliyah Patty, who put up a team-high-tying 15 points alongside eight rebounds.
Freshman guard Jacy Sheldon was the other Buckeye with 15 points, and she shot an efficient 6-of-13 from the field.
The Buckeyes dominated the paint with a 46-16 advantage in inside scoring.
Despite the slow start, the Gophers fought their way back into the game as they brought the Buckeye lead down to four early in the fourth quarter.
However, a 14-0 Buckeye run through the middle of the fourth quarter pushed the game out of reach.
The Gophers struggled offensively, shooting just 32 percent from the field while turning the ball over 22 times.
Ohio State junior guard Braxtin Miller gave the Minnesota offense issues, finishing with a career-high eight steals.
The Gophers scored just eight points in the fourth quarter and went on a scoring drought that spanned 6:39 through the middle of the quarter.
Minnesota was led by freshman guard Jasmine Powell, finishing the game with 14 points on 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Senior guard Jasmine Brunson added 11 points of her own.
Ohio State continues their Big Ten Tournament campaign on Friday night at 8:55 p.m. against Iowa.